Earl Howe, Minister for the Armed Forces, presented awards to the three most outstanding apprentices: Army Apprentice of the Year, Army Advanced Apprentice and the Army Apprentice Champion.
Army Apprentice of the Year, 30 yr old LBdr Kendal Wiltshire, 55 Bty, 26 Regt RA, said, "It's been absolutely amazing and has inspired me to do more. I didn't particularly like school, but Army Apprenticeships have offered me a different way of learning. And now I love helping others and watching them succeed. It's what the Army is about, teamwork, and helping others."
Army Advanced Apprentice, Lance Corporal Liam Molloy, 26, from 30Sqn 26 Engr Regt, who lives in Andover but is currently deployed in Estonia on the British Army Enhanced Forward Presence stated, "I didn't always enjoy school, but the practical learning I can do as a Royal Engineer in the Army is really interesting. I've been in the Army for five years now, and really enjoy the way we're taught to do our jobs and work together to support our team."
Recognised as one of the top 100 employers offering apprenticeships, the Army has the largest employer provided apprenticeship programme in the country, with 95% of new soldiers taking part, and over 7000 completing their apprenticeship training each year.
Army Apprenticeships are a part of a nationally recognised scheme, giving soldiers the chance of paid employment while studying for a work-based qualification. This adds to their capability as soldiers, while increasing their employability when they transition to civilian life.
It is so important to recognise the achievements of these people Earl Howe
Earl Howe commented, "It is so important to recognise the achievements of these people. Defence apprenticeships offer the opportunity to earn while you learn, regardless of your gender, across over forty different subjects, and the Army is leading the way for Defence."
Ranging from Equine Care to Plumbing and Heating a large proportion of apprenticeships provided are in STEM subjects such as Engineering and Telecommunications.
General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the General Staff said, "I am proud that the Army is the largest employer provider of apprenticeships in the UK and I am delighted that we are celebrating the outstanding achievements of our apprentices – congratulations to all.
I am absolutely committed to enabling every soldier and civil servant in the British Army to maximise their talent and the quality and quantity of the over 40 Apprenticeship programmes from engineering and digital to animal care, medicine and catering provides the means to do so.
95% of all new soldiers now study on the Apprenticeship programme and relish the opportunity to learn and work hard to earn accredited skills that set them up well in life."